On those winter days when it feels cold and dreary and you just want to escape to a tropical island, try our recipe for Chili-Lime Chicken instead! It requires minimal time and effort, but will make your taste buds come alive with the flavors of zesty lime, creamy avocado, crunchy radish, cilantro, and a little added chili heat for good measure. It’s a versatile meal that can just as easily be served up on a bed of fresh greens for lunch or over a bowl of brown or wild rice for dinner.
This week’s recipe: Chili-Lime Chicken with Baby Spinach and Arugula
What you need:
2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 firm-ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
4-5 radishes, chopped into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro + 1 teaspoon minced
Several handfuls of mixed leaves, like baby spinach and arugula
Why we like it:
Winter meals are often heavy and rich, so this dish is a perfect lighter choice that will fill you up without weighing you down, while still containing great flavors and ingredients high in nutritional value, like chicken breast, avocado, radishes, and fresh mixed greens. And with the aroma of chili and lime floating around your kitchen, you might just be able to imagine you are already on vacation somewhere sunny and warm!
You’re going to begin by creating the chili-lime sauce so you can marinate your chicken in it. To do this, measure out your brown sugar, chili powder, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and olive oil.
Pluck the stems from a handful of cilantro leaves and roughly chop the leaves. Set them aside for later. Finely dice a small amount and measure out 1 teaspoon to be combined with the rest of the ingredients in the sauce.
Mince your garlic and juice your lime to get 2 teaspoons of fresh juice.
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, olive oil, chili powder, red pepper flakes, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon minced cilantro.
Stir well and set aside until you have sliced your chicken breasts.
Using a large knife, slice your chicken breasts into small to medium-sized strips. Place them in the chili-lime sauce to marinate for 15-30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating you can prepare the rest of the ingredients. You’ll need to pit, peel, and chop your avocado, so first cut the avocado in half lengthwise with a large knife.
Next, remove the pit from the avocado and use a small knife to score the avocado flesh before removing it from the peel.
Take a large spoon and simply scoop the entire avocado half out of the peel.
Because you already scored the chunks, they will simple scoop out already cut!
Combine the avocado and 2 tablespoons of cilantro in a bowl and add the rest of the lime juice. Toss gently to coat the avocado in the lime juice, which will help to keep the pieces from turning brown.
Chop about 4-5 radishes into 1-inch chunks and add them to the bowl with the avocado and cilantro.
Now that everything is chopped and minced you can cook the chicken. Using a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the chicken in the chili-lime sauce for approximately 5-7 minutes, depending how thinly sliced the strips are. You want the flesh to be completely white throughout, but still tender and moist inside (you can remove a piece from the pan and cut through it to check if it’s fully cooked). Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from the heat.
It’s time to prepare your salad. You can buy different types of salad greens individually or just purchase a pre-made bag of mixed salad leaves. Use one that includes arugula (also called rocket) for more spiciness and flavor contrast. There will be plenty of chili-lime sauce left to dress the salad, but if you wish a milder dressing, simply drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
Let the chicken rest for a few minutes and then add to the bowl of avocado and radishes, saving some of the sauce to use as a salad dressing.
Gently toss everything together until the avocado and radishes are coated in the sauce.
Spoon a good amount of the Chili-Lime Chicken on top of the bed of mixed leaves and season with a little salt and pepper. This delicious and vibrant dish is sure to be a hit!